CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2021 Annual Meeting and Expo

Occupational Health and Safety

Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness"

Submission Deadline: Sunday, March 21, 2021

We are seeking high quality abstracts on topics related to workers’ health and safety for the 149th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association in Denver and virtual. The theme for the conference is Strengthening Social Connectedness, however we select abstracts that include a variety of other OHS topics. Accepted abstracts will be grouped with other abstracts on complementary topics. Once you submit your abstract, please remember to join the OHS section.

Oral sessions: The 90-minute oral sessions will typically feature four (18-20 minute each) scientific presentations and a brief period for audience Q&A. 

Roundtable sessions: The roundtable sessions include 6-8 speakers who are given 3-5 minutes each to describe their research, outreach, advocacy, or discussion topic. For in-person, the event is 90-minutes and the speakers present and then are situated at different roundtables and audience members select a table and engage in a discussion with that speaker for a 20-minute period. For virtual, the event is 30-minutes and the speakers will be in break-out rooms to present 3-5 minutes and then further chat about their research with the audience.

Posters: The poster sessions typically feature 10 presenters grouped by topic. For in-person, the event is 60-minutes and presenters stand next to their poster so audience members can walk up to ask questions and discuss. For virtual, speakers will record and post a 5-minute presentation which will be available on-demand throughout the conference. Each poster will have a discussion board where the audience can leave questions, comments, or contact information.

Student & new researchers poster competition: All students currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs and new researchers (within 2 years of completion of last degree) are encouraged to submit abstracts. If you want to be considered for this competition, please submit under the "New researchers or new practitioners in OHS" topic area. 

Instructions for preparing abstracts
Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words. Organize your abstract into four sections: Background and Objective(s), Methods, Results, Conclusion(s). Please include relevant facts outlining the occupational health problem, the strategies of your work, the impact on your population, and implications for other groups. We understand that you may not have results at the time of submission; if not, please include preliminary results or expected outcomes. 

We encourage members of the community, unions, advocates to submit abstracts. If your abstract does not neatly fit into scientific sections, such as methods and results, please still outline an introduction to the problem in your community, the methods your group has implemented to reduce the problem, and the (anticipated) results of the intervention or advocacy. You do not need to conduct a research study to share your efforts to protect workers, but you do need clear facts so that reviewers understand the problem, solution, and impact of your work to receive high scores from blinded subject matter experts.

Abstract reviewers will focus on the following, please use this as a guide in developing your abstracts. Abstracts with high scores should:

  • Outline the need for change to protect workers’ health with relevant facts
  • Highlight the research, policy analysis, or other OHS activity clearly and how it relates to the science of OHS
  • Describe what novel actions and/or research methodology has been taken (e.g. policy making, policies, regulations, unionization, etc.) and describe impact on workers' health
  • Address the policy or practical implications of the research or program on workers
  • Detail a particularly urgent OHS topic or conference theme related topic
  • Reflect on how the research/intervention/program supports the requirements that employers bear the responsibility for providing safe and healthful workplaces

The OHS Section strives to provide CE credits for EVERY session in our program. In order to do so, each abstract must include each of the following:

(1) At least one learning outcome, which must include one of the following action words: explain, demonstrate, analyze, formulate, discuss, compare, differentiate, describe, name, assess, evaluate, identify, design, define, or list.

(2)  No mention of any trade and/or commercial products.

(3) A signed Conflict of Interest form with a relevant qualification statement. 

(4) Your qualifications statement should list your unique expertise to present the information identified in your abstract. Note: Examples of acceptable qualifications statement would be: “I have conducted research on the ABC topic for 5 years, and was the co-PI on this project,” or “I conducted the data analysis on this project.” “I am a professor at XYZ university” is not deemed an acceptable qualifications statement by the CE accrediting organizations. 

You will be notified in June 2021 if your session abstract is accepted or rejected. Due to large number of abstracts we receive and limited time slots available for presentations, preference will be given to speakers who designate “Occupational Health & Safety” as one of their APHA Sections.

List of example topic areas:

    • Aging & Young Workforce Health and Safety
    • COVID19 (e.g., essential workers, mental health, healthcare worker infection rates, technology shifts, health insurance ties to work, teacher/child care risk)
    • Disaster Response (e.g., cleanup, remediation, climate change, community health)
    • Emergency Response to Extreme Weather Events and Other Disasters
    • Emerging Infectious Diseases, Infection Prevention and Control
    • Food Safety, Workers Safety and Safe Environments
    • Fractionalized Workforce and/or Occupational Health Disparities (e.g., low-wage workers, temporary workers, day laborers, temp workers, misclassified workers, force labor, human trafficking)
    • Gig Workers, Temp Workers, Fissured Employment, Ghost Economy
    • Healthcare, Community Health Workers, & Intersection of Patient and Worker Safety
    • Healthcare: Patient Safety and Worker Safety
    • History of Occupational Health & Safety in U.S. and across the Globe
    • Illness Related to Work (e.g., cancer, dermatitis, chronic disease)
    • Immigration, Labor and Health
    • Industrial Hygiene & Exposure Assessment (e.g., biomonitoring; laboratory safety; nanotechnology, air quality)
    • Infectious Disease (Bloodborne pathogens, Zika, Healthcare and non-healthcare (e.g., waste handling, transportation, airport workers, agriculture, food, etc.)
    • Injuries Related to Work (e.g., acute and chronic, ergonomics, slips/trips/falls)
    • International Experiences and Efforts in OHS
    • New Researchers/Practitioners in OHS Poster Competition
    • OHS Surveillance (e.g., state/local agency surveillance, BLS SOII and CFOI, injury epidemiology methods)
    • Occupational Health & Environmental Justice
    • Occupational Health Internship Program (OHIP)
    • Safety Culture, Behavior-Based Safety, Worksite Wellness/Health Promotion
    • Safety Hazard Investigations, Hazard Interventions
    • Safety in the Workplace (e.g., new hazards, effective interventions, safety culture, workplace violence)
    • Strengthening Social Connectedness
    • Worker's Compensation
    • Other OHS Topics (e.g., intervention effectiveness, prevention through design, built environment)

    Special information for students and community members: The OHS section encourages students and local community members to submit abstracts for our program. The OHS Section offers a limited number of scholarships for students, labor union representatives and community-based organizations. Please see the OHS Section page on the APHA website for scholarship information.  

    Full 90-minute sessions: The OHS Section will also accept abstracts that propose a complete session with 4-5 presenters. The organizer of a proposed session must submit a “session abstract.” The title of the abstracts should begin: “Full Session: (title)” In the first sentence of the abstract write, “this is an abstract for a 90-minute session,” and then describe briefly the session objectives. In the "Comments to Organizers" box in the Title step, include the names of each proposed presenter and the title of their presentations.
    In addition to the “session abstract,” each proposed speaker must also submit an abstract. They should indicate in the ‘notes’ field of the on-line abstract submission form that their abstract is part of the [proposed title of session] organized by [name of organizer]. It is the session organizer’s responsibility to inform each proposed presenter that, if their abstract is accepted, they will be required to register for the conference, and are also required to be a member of APHA. Slots for 90-minute sessions are very competitive. If the full session proposal is not accepted, we will consider integrating the individual abstracts into other OHS Section sessions.


    OHS & APHA 2021:  

    In 2021, APHA is focused on an ongoing mission to create the healthiest nation in one generation by improving the health of the public and achieving equity in health status. In light of this years’ conference theme, “Strengthening Social Connectedness,” the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Section is focused on bringing communities together and creating safer environments at the workplace for all employees, and especially essential workers.

    The OHS Section is one of the oldest within APHA, advocating for the health, safety and well-being of workers, families, communities and the environment since 1914. This year the OHS Section celebrates 107 years. Every step of the way, OHS professionals including medicine, nursing, industrial hygiene, and safety engineering to epidemiology, toxicology, environmental health, statistics, community and labor organizing, social justice, injury prevention, education, history, law and journalism have been using science to influence and improve action to better and safer work and working conditions.

    The OHS Section recognizes the intrinsic link between the work environment and the health and safety of working people, their families, communities, and the environment at large. Presenters should know how science impacts action and how that results in safer workers, safer working conditions, and safer communities for people around the world. This can be accomplished in several ways including: describing how research, policy analysis, or other OHS activity relate to the science of OHS; describing what novel actions and/or research methodology have been taken (e.g. policy making, policies, regulations, unionization, etc.); describe impact on workers’ health and safety; integrating policy or practical implications into research or program implementation.


    Program Planner Contact Information:

    Kerri Wizner
    Miriam Weil
    Jeanette Zoeckler